PORTRAIT OF A BRIDE AND GROOM BY A FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER IN ELROY, WISCONSIN

MISS CLIZBE_0003This cabinet card is a wedding portrait of a young unidentified couple. The bride is wearing a dark wedding dress and a long sheer veil. The groom is standing in the background behind the bench his bride is sitting on. The distance between the two removes the intimacy that we tend to see in modern day wedding portraits. The photographer of this image is Miss Carrie B. Clizbe whose studio was located in Elroy, Wisconsin. She is one of  a small group of female photographers operating during the cabinet card era. Research revealed very little information about Carrie Clizbe’s career as a photographer. The 1880 US census found Carrie (age 21) living with her parents and four siblings in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Carrie was working as a “tailoress”. Her father had an interesting occupation. He sold patents. The 1900 and 1910 census does not list her as having an occupation. While investigating, I was able to locate a cabinet card produced by the Clizbe Sisters studio in Reedsburg. It is apparent that Carrie was once partners with her sister Martha. A directory of Early Western Photographers reports that Carrie’s studio operated in Elroy circa 1895. The web site for Reedsburg provides a short biography of the man that Carrie Clizbe married on 7/4/1900. Herbert H. Webb and two partners established a department store in Reedsburg called Webb and Schweke. It was known as ‘The Big Store”. Carrie died in 1921 in the city of Chicago. She is buried in Reedsburg.

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Published in: on January 11, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi, I’m a photography collector too, with a small collection. I have a cabinet card portrait of a lovely young woman. The photographer/studio name is “Miss Martha Clizbe, Reedsburg, Wis.”
    I’d be glad to send you a hi-res scan to complement your blog about Carrie Clizbe. I’ve never found cards by other woman photographers.
    Cheers —
    Patricia
    Patricia.Bornhofen@gmail.com

    • I would love to see and exhibit the portrait from Miss Clizbe’s studio if you would send it to me at cabinetcardgallery@gmail.com
      In order to see photographs by other female photographers, you can click on this blogs “female photographers” category which can be found on the right side of your screen.

  2. I have a stunning portrait of two smiling little girls, also by “Clizbe Sisters, Reedburg, Wis.

  3. Hi there – I’d love it if you would share any of these images on their Ancestry profiles. Please let me know if you’d like to.
    Thanks and happy new year.
    SUSAN.

    • I think you have a good idea in regard to placing vintage photos with an identified subject onto Ancestry.com. I have given it thought in the past but can’t afford to take the time to accomplish that. Instead, a number of people have either set up links or copied my images and placed them on various genealogical sites, including ancestry.

      • Actually, I wanted to use them as representations of my cousins Carrie and Martha’s work, since it is rather unusual to find a female owned photo business at that time. For my purpose, they don’t need to be identified, but that would be a bonus, especially to the subjects’ descendants. I’d be happy to post them and include whatever info/credit you like.


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